Radisson Blu hotel resort , El Quseir , Egypt – Asaad another customer service hero.

Posted in Travel on October 2nd, 2014 by John Coxon
asaad Radisson blu

Asaad , “just” a gardener or an  eco warrior ?

From the perspective of management  , (and indeed myself working at times for clients providing photography based PR and marketing media support )  an enterprise’s good name hinges on not just  few in higher profile roles but the ” foot soldiers” too because the brand’s image and reputation can be enhanced or ruined in one on one encounters with say if  just one individual  falls short of the mark (as with a chain, only as strong as its weakest link.) The Radisson team do not seem to have any staff who do not exceed  expectations and here is another example of that I want to share.

Radisson Blu El Quseir

This kindly modest hard working  man  , Asaad,  is one of the small army of gardening staff helping to keep the hotel resorts beautifully planted garden areas and its fauna in pristine condition in what would be for anyone who loves gardening a really harsh and unforgiving climate in what was a formerly barren desert area beside the Red Sea. ( I am not great at remembering names but handy that I shot some photographs of him during my stay with my professional gear and so, home again, was able to enlarge the photo on my laptop and read his name from his staff badge !)

Radisson blu landscaped spaces

He , it seems to me,  is typical of all the staff at the resort and this story illustrates the qualities that seem to be in the DNA of all the people the hotel employs.  I had fallen a few days earlier, cut my head and knee but also lost a fair bit of the entire outer skin around the base of my heal and so was forced to walk around on the ball of my foot which eventually caused discomfort  and cramp I my calf muscle on that leg.  I needed a walking stick !

Radisson blu el quseir flora

I often like to improvise and here I had to as I couldn’t leave the resort ( here as carer for my elderly mum)and the hotel shops did not sell walking sticks . Naturally I thought that at the hotel’s   eco farm area near the main gate , behind the football pitch ,  where tools were kept , plants raised and materials stored, I might find a stout bamboo cane .  I found one that came close but was a tad soft and yet  I asked Asaad if I could take it .  With a few gestures and showing  him the dressing on my heel ,  he could see I needed something better and smiled and said “Carpenter.” He  signalled me to follow him.

radisson blu el quseir staff

It was a fair walk and as I passed one of the date palms  I saw a freshly fallen one on the lawn , I  picked it up . Asaad pointed up to the dates above with obvious pride . and took a cautious bite but it was ripe and I finished it . It was delicious ! ( all around the site there are palm  dates  growing, clusters  managed and  enclosed in netting bags so they can be collected easily, kept from damage ready to be harvested  and used in the kitchens ) He indicated that I came back later he would give me a small  bag of the dates to eat .

radisson blu el quseir date palms

I wish I had my camera with me as I usually did because this area of workshops (engineering and woodwork)  was like the back lot on a film set with things needing repair or kept for spares and recycling  in the yard , things like a fibre glass  quite large camel and elephant  that has seen better days! Once inside Asaad found the carpenter and they went looking for a piece of timber that would do the trick. Asaad came back with a length of  1 inch by 1  inch rough sawn pine. He then got some abrasive paper and began  smoothing off one end .  He smiled and presented it to me. I asked if I could keep the sand paper with a view to doing sime more rubbing down later and it was no problem . I walked back with him towards the farm , shook his hand warmly and said my thanks again in Arabic  then he went back to work and I went to the main building to catch a coffee.

Asaad Radisson Blu el Quseir

I  had first seen Asaad   at the huge and impressive fish pond in front of the main building with a pool net tackling the ever present menace of intrusive green algae floating on the pond surface encouraged by high temperatures ,strong sun light and shallow waters.

A Picasso Triger fish, swimming in the large hotel eco fish pond as the algae you see here on the surface begins to rise to the surface as the water temperature  rises around noon

A Picasso Triger fish, swimming in the large hotel eco fish pond as the algae you see here on the surface begins to rise to the surface as the water temperature rises around noon

He was always smiling but so hard working yet whenever I raised my camera he always waved and shouted back a greeting. I could always recognise  him a mile  off because he was the only staff member that always wore a  hat  to protect his head as he worked outside.  I marvelled at his dedication to this thankless task , a daily battle with nature that took a couple of hours of his every day .

radisson blu staff

Asaad’s colleague brushing the rocks and pond sides to free algae so it could be netted and removed

 

Asaad had, it became apparent to me,  a set of additional responsibilities as he appeared to spend a lot of his time at the eco- farm area  to the left as you enter through the resort’s main road entranced , looking after the  Egyptian chickens in their fox tight enclosure.

 

Radisson blu el Quseir eco farm

and the  ducks and geese who have their own private shaded swimming pool and a large enclosure nearer the farm green house, which they share with six Egyptian tortoises.

I’d come to the farm to take pictures and Asaad was in the domed greenhouse and as soon as he saw me came out to great me and wanted to show me round clearly very proud of his work and role , willing to help inform and educate. I asked about the tortoises as I couldn’t see one but he quickly found one hiding  in the grass by the fence having checked their hutch and not finding them there! He instinctively  held it up for me to photograph.

Radisson blu el Quseir eco farm

It was a tad camera shy but Asaad showed great patience !

highly endangered Egyptian tortoise the hotel are helping conserve

highly endangered Egyptian tortoise the hotel are helping conserve

He set it down and we waited and hey presto out its head came and I seized the moment !

Radisson blu el Quseir eco farm

The scientific name for this species is testudo kleinmanni ( Kleinmann’s tortoise) click on the image to learn more about this creature.

These tortoises the GM , Frank told  me, as did  the information board on the enclosure  when I set out to photograph it, , are in the top ten of the most endangered species on the planet .

Radisson blu el Quseir eco farm

 

Asaad is at the sharp end of the hotel’s project to help conserve and possibly breed these lovely shy creatures.

One of three experimental fish farming tanks

One of three experimental fish farming tanks

He also is in charge of experimental project to fish farm in three huge vats form which the dropping polluted water is filtered and then pumped through hoses into a framework of inter -connected white pvc pipes with cut out holes to hold pots so that food plants like tomatoes can be grown in the domed polythene tunnel green house for hotel kitchen use.

Radisson blu el Quseir eco farm

 

The  accommodation here is so good even the water birds have their own shaded luxury pool !

Radisson blu el Quseir eco farm

 

A big thank you to Asaad for being so helpful, kind and informative and going the extra mile for this guest and a great ambassador for the hotel . Gardener hardly seems a term that describes the diversity of roles Asaad fulfils manages , he’s an Eco Warrior !

I am in the process of compiling another  video to add to the ones I have already made providing information and insights into the hotel, it’s character  and features , the next will focus on the landscaping, planting and gardening in a large series of great photographs made into a slide show movie.  Meanwhile I have made an album of those garden based photographs over on my Flickr account . Please visit the album by clicking on the image below  and thanks  for your visit . Regards  John   .

radisson Blu El Quseir

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